The number of agents making new sales is growing week-on-week, according to the latest TTG Travel Agent Tracker.
The survey for the week ending Friday 22 May found 48% of agents had made new sales, significantly up on the 38% for the week ending 15 May.
What’s more 68% of agents saw new enquiries, up from 58% the previous week.
There has been a small return to bookings for summer and autumn 2020, with 13% of agents reporting bookings for the period, compared to 6% the previous week. The largest share of future bookings continues to go to summer 2021 – four of 10 agents reported bookings for that period.
Half of agents said customers were most interested in beach holidays, with 17% receiving requests for cruises (up from 16%), 17% city breaks (up from 15%) and 12% touring holidays.
In terms of destinations, 43% of agents had had enquiries for the Mediterranean (up from 35%), followed by the US and Canada (29% up from 25%), and the Europe outside of the Med (25%).
UK breaks and ‘staycations’ were cited by a number of agents as other holidays they had received enquiries about.
In terms of issues causing agents most concern, the quarantine proposals were the most cited, followed by refunds, the impact of Specialist Holidays Group collapsing, and “government dithering”.
One agent complained that they were receiving too much information from suppliers about future travel and not enough communication about refunds – and as a result agents were losing credibility with customers.
Asked about furlough, 21% said 100% of their staff were on furlough, although 15% said fewer than 10% were.
Meanwhile, 43% of high street owners and managers said they would be reopening in July. One in three are now planning to opening between now and the end of June.
Of the 151 respondents to the latest Tracker, 50% were homeworkers, 35% independent high street travel agents, 7% online agencies or call centres and 3% from multiple agencies (50+ branches).